Culture At Large

Atheism, the afterlife and an illustrated interview with Maurice Sendak

Josh Larsen

Before his death last year, children’s author Maurice Sendak gave a raw, emotional interview to NPR’s Terry Gross. In it, he discussed the joy he felt in the face of death, his enduring atheism and his seemingly paradoxical belief that he will be reunited with loved ones after he’s gone.

Upon hearing the interview, Christoph Niemann created an illustrated version that the New York Times published last month, and we’ve shared below.

Sendak has long been a beloved mystery to me. It’s the reason I wanted to be sure Think Christian published a piece about his work upon the news of his passing (Why Maurice Sendak should be next to your kids’ story Bible.) As a child, his books mesmerized me with their dangerous weirdness, and as an adult I’ve been equally drawn to the mixture of cantankerousness and generosity that seemed to define the man.

Sendak remains a mystery in so many ways. Yet what does this candid interview reveal to you?

 

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